Ideas Beyond Borders

Making the inaccessible accessible

New York, NY   |  www.ideasbeyondborders.org

Mission

Ideas Beyond Borders champions a positive alternative to the extremism, authoritarianism, censorship, and violence that plagues the Middle East. We share, translate, and promotes ideas that foster: * Critical Thinking * Civil & Human Rights * Science * Pluralism * & more We want to ultimately bring to life a modern, pluralistic Middle East, led by the people of the region.

Ruling year info

2018

President and Founder

Mr. Faisal Saeed Al Mutar

Main address

244 Fifth Avenue Suite 2594

New York, NY 10001 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

82-1447974

NTEE code info

International Human Rights (Q70)

International Democracy & Civil Society Development (Q35)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

In the Middle East, basic information about living a modern, informed good life is almost entirely inaccessible. Only 3% of online content is available in Arabic, which is stunning since Arabic is the fourth most spoken language among internet users. As a result, Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) youth face devastating gaps in knowledge. Why? Authoritarian regimes, sectarianism, extremism, and censorship combine to create a crippling lack of access to empowering information about human rights, economics and more. MENA countries are among the worst censors in the world: internet regulations, partisanship and religious bias all play a role. Most news sources are government-funded, with 24 out of 25 countries listed as actively participating in political or religious censorship. The resulting content scarcity has created an existential vacuum in which alternative ideas about how to live are not available, crippling Arab youth in their struggle for change.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

In the Middle East, information about living a modern informed good life is almost entirely inaccessible. Consider this staggering fact: Only 3% of online content is available in Arabic. As a result, youth face devastating gaps in knowledge and are ill-equipped to create a new society. Bayt al Hikma 2.0 (BAH2.0, or the House of Wisdom 2.0) solves this problem. It is a free digital solution, an easily accessible hub of knowledge, and a bustling community where youth explore and discuss significant ideas that are otherwise unavailable. BAH2.0 is the tech version of the great library of Baghdad, the original Bayt Al Hikma that served as a center for learning during the Middle East’s Golden Age. BAH2.0 not only lays the groundwork for a vibrant future, it elevates the potential of every young person it touches, because as Steven Pinker has said, "knowledge builds on itself, and the exchange of ideas is exponentially transformative."

Population(s) Served
People of Middle Eastern descent
Young adults

Global Conversations is our online discussion forum, engaging over 2 million people and counting. We curate content specifically designed to engage lively, spirited discussion on controversial topics - from innovative technologies to people fighting for free speech around the globe.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

Bel Arabi is the new, rapidly growing home for Arab liberal thinkers and advocates. Bel Arabi’s podcasts and videos provide a much-needed platform for Arab liberalism, inspiring Arab youth to become change agents in support of modern, pluralistic and free societies. Typical topics include:

Women and Public Office
Freedom of Expression
Life Under ISIS Rule
How does Business Contribute to Improving Human Rights Conditions?

Population(s) Served
Young adults
People of Middle Eastern descent

Conducted in partnership with Wikimedia Foundation, the MENA University Student Translator program develops the translation and editorial skills of university students who are committed to pluralistic values and IBB’s Bayt al Hikma 2.0 program. 200 students from across Iraq participated will participate in 2021, successfully translating 1,000 Wikipedia articles on such topics as science, human and civil rights, and more.

Population(s) Served
Young adults
People of Middle Eastern descent

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of works in collection

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We define "works" as "digital assets" translated or produced by IBB, including books, articles, videos, podcasts, and infographics.

Number of participants attending course/session/workshop

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent, Students

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric includes the number of students who participated in the MENA University Translators program across Iraq and the number of freelance translators who participated in digital security events.

Number of groups/individuals benefiting from tools/resources/education materials provided

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We define the number of individuals benefiting from educational materials as interactions with Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 content, including podcast listeners, one-minute video views, and book downloads.

Number of unique website visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric refers to the number of unique website baytalhikma2.org, the program website for Ideas Beyond Borders.

Number of countries represented by visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This represents users of Baytalhikma2.org.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Young adults, People of Middle Eastern descent

Related Program

House of Wisdom 2.0 (Bayt al Hikma 2.0)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

This metric refers to the number of Facebook followers on the following pages associated with the Bayt Al Hikma 2.0 program: Enlightened Minds, Theory of Evolution, and Bayt Al Hikma 2.0.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

IBB’s long range goal is to create the conditions for a new Middle East-inspired Enlightenment, and to do so by overcoming censorship and making forbidden content available.

IBB is now investing in order to become the leading source of information for young adults in the Middle East and North Africa who want to explore and engage with content about democracy, human rights, science, and pluralism. Having built the Bayt al Hikma 2.0 digital content engine, marketing program, and distribution network, IBB is now scaling its user base and will be ideally positioned to serve the MENA region's 150 million youth, create systemic changes in their knowledge and awareness, and create opportunities for successful social change.

IBB’s primary program strategies include:
Overcoming censorship and disinformation by creating, translating, publishing and promoting Enlightenment-oriented content from a deeply informed MENA perspective;
Building awareness and knowledge of the potential offered by a revived Middle East Enlightenment by utilizing an increasingly robust online social and website presence to engage followers and subscribers; and
Supporting a variety of on-the-ground efforts by individuals and institutions to bring MENA Enlightenment values to life, ultimately building a MENA-wide advocacy network.

IBB’s core competencies have resulted in a combined social following of 4.8 million in just three years, and the capability of engaging tens of millions of Arab youth online through its social platforms. IBB’s capabilities include:

- Core staff competency in communications and social media advertising for in-region youth in Arabic
- Creating and repackaging digital content to hyper-target MENA youth, including relevant and 'memeable' videos, graphics, and social media posts to communicate contentious or difficult-to-understand material
- Strong, direct relationships with MENA youth aged 15-29, primed for market research and data-collection
- Translation powerhouse with colloquial speakers in-region for a youth-to-youth translation model
- Depth of technical/topical expertise (e.g., sciences, engineering, social sciences, etc.) amongst our 40+ translators
- Strategic partnerships with experts, social influencers, and organizations across the MENA region with the proven ability to collaborate

IBB's primary online platform, Bayt al Hikma 2.0 (BAH2.0, has grown significantly in just two years:

* 67% growth in total content in 2020, including Wikipedia article translation, video and podcast creation, and book translation;

* Growth in (social media) engagement between one million in 2019 and more than 29 million in 2020;

* Views of IBB-translated Wikipedia content increased from one million in 2019 to more than 42 million in 2020 (source: Wikiviews);

*IBB's Stop the Spread public information campaign about COVID-19 engaged more than 30 million MENA youth with information about the virus, while also combating disinformation. IBB's companion humanitarian campaign distributed 145,500 masks and 756,000 meals to underserved communities in Iraq.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    We diversified the articles we translate with our university program and gave the students more power to choose what they think is good for them.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff,

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    Language barrier,

Financials

Ideas Beyond Borders
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Ideas Beyond Borders

Board of directors
as of 4/23/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Sam Hershey

White & Case LLP

Term: 2018 - 2022

Dan Johnson

American Financial Systems and AFS Securities

Faisal Al Mutar

Ideas Beyond Borders

Sam Hershey

White & Case

Steven Pinker

Harvard University

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/08/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Middle East/Arab
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 08/01/2019

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.